Caritas Australia urges that we must not forget global crises

Caritas Australia welcomes the new aid commitments at a time when there is greater global need than ever but expresses concern that these increases are not enough to meet growing needs. 


“The government responded quickly to the devastating humanitarian crisis unfolding in Ukraine, and we welcome the additional funding for protracted crises like Myanmar and Afghanistan, and new COVID-19 response measures for the Pacific. However, across the world there is increasing conflict, increasing instability and increasing humanitarian need. Yet again, funding has not increased for Africa, another region with significant ongoing need. We need to do better,” said Kirsty Robertson, Caritas Australia’s CEO.  


“The impacts of the war in Ukraine will be devastating for regions already suffering from severe food insecurity - like northern Africa and the Middle East. These regions depend heavily on grain imports from Ukraine and the impacts will likely be catastrophic.” 


“The global poverty rate is on the rise and COVID-19 has certainly contributed to this. Internationally, people are at their most vulnerable and now is the time to act.” 


“We welcome the recent injection of $22 million in budget support for the Solomon Islands to fund essential workers. Building partnerships through aid and development is the best way to strengthen our relationships with our neighbours. With an office in Solomon Islands and a number of programs active in the country, we know all too well the immense challenges the people are facing. More challenges than ever before - destruction from the riots late last year and the ongoing impacts of COVID-19 which is causing havoc right now. The political climate in the country shows us how important it is to work closely with our neighbours in solidarity, and to provide long-term support rather than reactive solutions.” 


“We must invest in education, health care, disaster risk reduction and humanitarian programs that support women, girls, and people living with disabilities. We need to have an aid budget that looks to the future and anticipates these kinds of crises, and the devastating impact that they have on whole swathes of the world. If we are to learn our lesson from COVID-19, it’s that even places that feel very distant to us are intimately connected in complex ways, so when one country or region is impacted, millions of people can feel the impacts.” 


“From the hunger crisis in the Horn of Africa to the conflicts in Afghanistan and Myanmar – across the world there is substantial inequality and numerous complex challenges that require long-term aid spending, such as climate change, COVID-19 recovery, famines and economic crises. The global community cannot wait. We must act now.”